U3A News from around Wales

U3A 2018 Short Story Competition

Wales Trustee Chris Winner is delighted to announce the winners of the 2018 Wales U3A Short Story competition.

Llongyfarchiadau! Congratulations to

  • Jaci Gruffydd of Swansea U3A the winner of the Welsh learner category, with her story - 'Ffonio Adref'
  • Wendy Williams from Caerphilly U3A the winner in the English category with her story - 'Foxglove'

You can download copies of the winning stories:

Note: there are only two prize winners this year as there weren’t any entries in the Welsh as a first language category.

Latest newsletters from Wales U3As

Cardiff NewsletterCardigan NewsletterChepstow Newsletter
Flintshire NewsletterLlandrindod NewsletterPorthmadog Newsletter
Ruthin NewsletterTorfaen NewsletterWrexham Newsletter
Monmouth Annual Magazine

Would you like to have your newsletter included here? Please contact the Wales website Editor.

Back to School for Porthcawl U3A

Report by Brian Thomas, Porthcawl U3A

Porthcawl U3A support their local school In our highly competitive society, attending a first formal interview can be a nerve racking experience, especially as a teenager. The more practice young people get in acquiring and then fine-tuning those important self-presentation skills the more success is likely to come their way.

To inject a touch of realism to the process of interview preparation, staff at Porthcawl Comprehensive again called upon members of Porthcawl U3A for assistance.

Ever ready to answer a call to support their community, U3A members duly conducted mock interviews with Year 12 students, with each student allocated a half hour slot to be grilled by two members - many of whom are former teachers and learning professionals.

The whole process was made to be as realistic as possible and was followed by the delivery of feedback directly to the student - helpful hints and practical advice.

Headteacher Andrew Slade was delighted with the outcome:
"This was an important opportunity to develop and enhance interview skills for our students, many of whom are about to compete for places at some of the best universities in the country" said Mr Slade. "The feedback given by members of Porthcawl U3A was really useful in allowing our students to critically reflect and refine their crucial self-presentation skills".

Chepstow win U3A Welsh National Table Tennis Championship

Report by Pat Smith, Cowbridge U3A (with additional information)

On the 26th June 2018, 35 teams competed in the second annual Tournament. This year the competition was open to U3A members from across the border. There were teams from Bridgend, Cowbridge,Chepstow, Malvern, Pembrokeshire, Porthmadog (which again sent 7 teams in total), Ludlow, Porthcawl and Ledbury. Cowbridge U3A were represented by five mixed double teams from the Table Tennis Group. The teams representing Cowbridge comprised of Leslie Avery & Mike Parsons, Colin Campbell & Jackie Hawkes, Doug Fraser & Pat Copley, Jackie Campbell & Elaine Bevan and Les Hall & Pat Smith.

The morning Session commenced at 10:00am where each team played in a Group of 7 teams on a round-robin basis. The competition went on until lunchtime then there was a well deserved break for lunch and the afternoon sessions commenced at 2:45pm again each team competing in 7 different bands.

The overall winner of the Tournament was the team of Sue Case and Lyndon Oliver from Chepstow U3A, but also coming away with trophies were two teams from Cowbridge U3A. Colin Campbell and Jackie Hawkes were worthy winners of Band 6 and Les Hall and Pat Smith were winners of the Band 4 Group.

It was a very enjoyable day with a lot of camaraderie during the games and new friendships being formed and it was nice to see supporters encouraging their teams

Congratulations went to Philip Avery of Table Tennis Wales, the competition organiser, for making sure the Tournament was run smoothly throughout the day.

All Wales U3A Conference 2018 - Learning Together

A hundred members gathered at the Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod Wells, with most groups in Wales being represented. There was a real buzz as we heard how Welsh U3As are working with each other and with their communities.

We were delighted to have with us U3A National Chairman, Pam Jones, South West Regional Trustee Jill Nicholls and Iwan Williams from Ageing Well in Wales. But this was truly a members’ conference, with members themselves speaking about their activities.

Shared Learning Project Co-ordinator, Sue Shannon-jones told us about SLPs. The Subject Advisers for both Creative Writing - Marcia Humphries, - and Welsh - Gareth Williams, - are based in Wales and outlined their roles, which extend throughout the UK. Carol Loughlin told us about Network Link and the benefits of Networks generally. Members spoke about being Trust Volunteers and of links formed with communities, schools and universities.

After lunch, Stuart Murray brought us up to date on the Wales Coastline and Borders Project. He had put together a professional-looking exhibition of work already produced by some of our U3As. Discussion time was given to how we could best use the material at the end of the Coastline and Borders Celebration.

This was a day of learning together from each other. So much came out of the talks and discussion groups that delegates had a whole range of ideas to take back to their own U3As.

Conference material to download:

U3A Trustee for Wales

Hilary Jones, the current Trustee for Wales, writes ...

Hilary Jones My 3 years as Regional Trustee comes to an end in August this year. It is a role I have loved. I have met so many great people and seen the wonderful things our Welsh U3As do and achieve.

Although the EGM on March 21st ratified the option to stay on as Trustee for another year – I will be standing down as I have been asked if I would stand for National Vice Chairman and I have said yes.

We therefore need to find a new Regional Trustee for Wales. If you know of anyone who might be interested in taking on this role please could you let me know. I would be happy to explain more about what is involved. As nomination papers will be sent out to U3As soon – I need to have any names by the end of April please.

It is important that Wales continues to have representation on the NEC. It does involve some time and effort – but it is not arduous and there are so many rewards. I would appreciate your support in finding a successor.

Wales Coastline and Border Celebration

Llanddwyn looking across to Snowdonia Download the latest updates on the project (see below) for lot of ideas for how your U3A can get involved.

If you would be interested in helping develop or contribute to the Coastline and Border Celebration during 2018 please contact (a Flintshire U3A member).

For more details see the Wales Coastline and Border Celebration page.

Shared Learning Projects

Sue Shannon-Jones has taken on the role of Shared Learning Project Coordinator for South Wales. If you are currently involved in a Shared Learning Project, or have an idea for one, please let her know. Click on Shared Learning Project if you want to set up a Shared Learning Project or you want to contact her or just want further information.